Thursday 13 May 2021

Will Europe keep Wilders immune from prosecution?

Anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders wants to take a seat in the European parliament in order to have immunity from prosecution, complainants against his Moroccan chant fear.

Wilders is currently seeking to take one of the four seats his PVV party won in the European parliamentary elections in May, while retaining his seat in the Dutch parliament.

Lawyers for the Moroccan groups who have lodged a complaint about Wilders’ anti-Moroccan chant after the local elections in March, say he is trying to avoid prosecution for discrimination and inciting hatred.

Quick decision

They have asked the public prosecution department for a quick decision on whether or not Wilders will be prosecuted, preferably before the installation of the European parliament on July 1, according to media reports.

The department says it has received the request but cannot comment on the case or when it will make a decision. It has been considering its decision since April.

Debate

Currently, MEPs are immune from prosecution in all member countries except their own. However, there is an on-going debate in the European parliament about changing the rule to include an MEP’s own country, lawyer Tamara Buruma told Trouw.

‘The question is whether Wilders will accept that he is not immune from prosecution in the Netherlands,’ she told the paper. ‘That is why we need a quick decision.’

 

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